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The Vitruvian Post

Fight Against Extinction

The Crested Gecko (left), a 8in reptile that was declared extinct since 1866, brought back to us more than a century ago in 1994.The tree lobster (right), a six-inch-long stick insect, was declared extinct in 1960.

The Crested Gecko (left), a 8in reptile that was declared extinct since 1866, brought back to us more than a century ago in 1994.The tree lobster (right), a six-inch-long stick insect, was declared extinct in 1960.

Christian Espinosa, Staff Writer

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Animals from all over the world have been killed in several ways leading the mass of their species to extinction. Surprisingly, a few different species that have been declared extinct for decades have risen in population.  

“Extinction is just a technical definition that just implies that the population doesn’t have enough to be able to take care of the animals in that population,” Elizabeth Smit, Da Vinci Communication’s (DVC)  9th grade physics teacher, explained. “So if you have two animals in a species and their brother and sister, you are not going to have enough distinct individuals to actually keep the population going.”   

Therefore extinction isn’t a term meaning all animals die off from man-made causes, it’s that there are not enough species to survive in the wild; it can also mean that the population is so little that the animals will begin to inbreed which results in unhealthy offspring.

Due to the Sultan of Sulu distributing the remaining Javan elephants to other islands centuries ago, they were saved from extinction. According to Science Daily, their species was officially recognized as existent around 2003 because scientist believed that the Borneo Pygmy elephants were likely descendants of Javan Elephants that were previously scattered.

Animals that have been rediscovered after being declared extinct, like the Javan elephants, were found in a variety of locations. One of these species was not only found in a different place but also evolved due to change in scenery.

According to New York Times, the Tree Lobster, a six inch insect scientifically known as Dryococelus australis, with a lobster-esque exoskeleton, once occupied by Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, between Australia and New Zealand. In 1918, rats escaped a steamship and preyed on the lobsters causing them to die off; by 1960 the Tree Lobster was declared extinct.  

In 2001, around four decades later, Scientist came upon a rock a third-of-a-mile-high, when they spotted a small group of live Tree Lobsters feeding on a tea tree at night. This is how it was discovered that they weren’t extinct after all.

According to The Center for Biological Diversity, the Florida panther was a highly populated animal, but due to the overpopulation of humans in that area, construction, and a plummet in natural habitats endangered the Florida panther in 2011 leaving only about 100 left. This supports that over population and migration of different species can lead animals to extinction as well.

Scientists take certain measures in keeping track of animals to predict whether a species will become extinct. “A lot of ecologists collect data about the population growth and decline of different animals,”  Laura Chase, DVC’s Chemistry and Biology teacher noted. “We have researchers that go out into natural areas and are in charge of counting and they also have more technological ways of keeping track, like for certain animals we will put electronic tag collars so we can see where the animals go.”

Destiny Ceja, a junior at DVC, said, “I would speak up.” These words can leave a lasting impact to what people do everyday. “I would make it known that society needs to start taking care of the planet more in order for these animals to keep thriving and staying alive rather than being on the verge of extinction again.”

People always have the common misconception that one person can’t make a lasting impact on different species. In fact, people have a very influential role in the survival of wildlife. One water bottle could be able to save an animal’s life.

Although some animals are here in this present time and not extinct anymore, if the public doesn’t take action to preserve their existence, then there would be no point of their return.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Fight Against Extinction”

  1. Merit Abshire on February 9th, 2018 10:25 am

    Scientists have concluded that there are over 2 million species on this planet and that .1% of them are going extinct each year. This is about 200-2,000 species that we lose each year for a variety of reasons. Theoretically, we cannot save them all, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. It’s good to see people acknowledging those that we’ve lost and thankfully have discovered again; however, I worry the direction we are heading in for the integrity of our environment by the decisions we’ve been making every day might lead to our own extinction. Is it inevitable?

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